[Viewpoint]Healing tears

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[Viewpoint]Healing tears

Crying is an essential mental purification in one’s life. If you have something to cry over, you should not hesitate. Once you have a good cry, you will think that whatever is bothering you is about to stop and you can stand up to face it. Sometimes, crying out loud gives you new hope and energy.

The late architect Kim Jung-eop said, “There has to be a corner in a house where you can go to shed tears.” He is right. In life, there are moments you cannot help but weep.

However, it is not easy to find a place where you can be all by yourself and cry as much as you like without thinking about other people.

To the late actress Choi Jin-sil, the bathroom might have been the only place to cry.

However, she might not have gained relief from crying and ended up taking her own life. If she had had a good cry to refresh herself, she could have unlocked the bathroom door and walked out.

If you want to laugh, you can do it anywhere. However, you need a special place to cry.

If you are a father facing trouble, you cannot cry in front of your children no matter how rough your day has been.

Of course, children sometimes need to see their father’s tears and despair.

Tears could be the most honest means of communication between a father and his children. However, most of the time, children are not mature enough to understand why a father has to cry. They are often not interested in the father’s feelings, and this indifference is painful to a father.

How about mothers and wives? The most comfortable place for a mother to cry might be in the kitchen.

Or you might want to sit in front of the dressing table to keep your last bit of pride, but your husband might make fun of you.

When the wife cries, even the closest of husbands cannot understand her feelings completely, not to mention her children.

So if you really want to cry, you have no choice but to hide.

Living in today’s harsh reality, you might struggle desperately or try shamelessly to please others, and you might want to take refuge and have a good cry more often than not. However, we have to swallow the tears and disguise our feelings. It is hard to find a place to be all alone and cry out loud.

In fact, if you have no one to pour your heart out to and no place to cry, you could go crazy and want to end your existence in this world.

That’s what happened to Kim Yung-chul, the deputy minister at the Prime Minister’s Office.

Mr. Kim was the confidant of Prime Minister Han Seung-soo. I first met him in February 1995 when I was an aide to the Blue House chief of staff, Park Gwan-yong. Kim was an aide to the newly appointed chief of staff, Han Seung-soo. He was many years my senior, but he was always polite. As far as I know, he was a gentle and fragile soul.

Lately, he was being investigated by prosecutors for allegedly receiving tens of millions of won from an energy conservation company when he was serving as head of Korea Midland Power Co. from 2002 to 2005.

Before being summoned and investigated, he resigned from public office and was found dead in an apparent suicide on October 10.

I am sure he wanted to cry. However, he could not. In the end, he swallowed the tears and chose to take a lonely path to the other world. I am not saying he was not at fault. But his crime surely was not worth his life.

I wouldn’t have felt so sorry for him if he was able to cry his heart out. So, those of us who are still alive, let’s cry as much as we want. And let’s stay alive and keep on living.

*The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.

by Chung Jin-hong
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